Two sisters, two coasts, one blog



Kirk and I are finally home owners! We signed the papers Monday 28th, just 4 days after our 10th wedding anniversary. We joked that I bought him a pretty fabulous anniversary present, and his gift to me, even more generous, is to pay the mortgage.

Our new home is 1559 square feet of ranch house built in 1954, on .76 acres of property, just 2 miles from the center of Raleigh. It has most of what we were looking for in a home: close to the city center but on a decent size property, enough room for my studio, a guest room, wood floors, great light, a couple of dogwood trees for Kirk, a covered porch. The neighborhood is generally thought to be a smart place to invest, with the city planning to draw more businesses to the shopping center across the road from us, and to make the road itself more pedestrian friendly.


View of our street reflected in the windows of the abadoned Winn-Dixie across the street

Current business in the shopping center. I think my days of cutting Kirk's hair are officially over

There are drawbacks too of course. The street is two lanes of fast moving (and loud) traffic, there are some pressing repairs which need to be done, the half bath was left half way through a renovation, the roof will need to be redone at some point in the next few years as will the master bath, no gas line = no gas stove for me.

In fact, though I have wanted to own my own home for as long as I can remember, I got a serious case of cold feet right before closing. ‘Can we still get out of this?’ I wondered as we drove to the lawyer’s office. Totally normal everyone has assured me.

House layout

Our friend Amy happened to be coming through town on a business trip, and due to some unfortunate circumstances (a.k.a getting her purse stolen) she got stranded. It was lucky timing for us because she rolled her sleeves up and got stuck in, helping us pack, get the house ready, and move in. She and I spent Day 1 of home ownership scrubbing the house from top to bottom.

Living room, two views

Looking from kitchen toward front of the house, and the living room


Views from bedroom to den, and den to kitchen

Front door & master bath (they aren't right next to each other, I just ran out of pictures to pair)

Front porch

One of the previous owner’s of the house built a tiki bar in the all weather room. The guy we bought it from had removed the bamboo poles and grass roof, leaving a less than glamorous result. We decided it had to go, so Day 2 involved Amy and I ripping it to pieces.

Tiki bar about to be dismantled

Dismantled and moved to the garage

The all weather room (I guess it’s also called a ‘Florida room’) was also sporting some stained and smelly carpet, which definitely had to go. We’re thinking we will either sand blast the concrete to remove the remaining glue, or put in laminate flooring.

Glue covered concrete

Finished for now

We’re still in the process of moving in, boxes and furniture everywhere but we spent our first night last night, celebrating with beers, chocolate ice cream and an episode of Nurse Jackie.

View from breakfast nook, Stella watching Kirk clean the gutters

Dogwood, Curly willow

One little gem of of the move was that I found these photos of my mother while unpacking books in my studio. For those of you who read my post about our trip to New York last year, here are pictures of my mom working on the Susan B. Anthony runner for The Dinner Party project. Isn’t she gorgeous??

I’ve been thinking about her a lot lately, because this is what she wanted us to do with my share of the inheritance. The last couple of months have been such a mix of sour and sweet moments, such a mad rush that I have sometimes felt that I’m standing at the center of a whirlwind, watching it all move around me. I’m looking forward to settling in, getting to sit still for a minute, soak it all in.

18 Responses to “House”

  1. Lorraine Abate

    She is beautiful, and I’m so sorry she isn’t there to share this with you. Beautiful house! Congratulations. : )

  2. Mia

    Congratulations Oami and Kirk! Best of luck on this new adventure.

  3. ruchapowers

    Okay so it wouldn’t be sisterly if I weren’t just a little jealous right? I’m jealous of your square footage, your kitchen, all those ‘extra’ spaces like the family room and enclosed porch, and of your curly willow plant! How fun to be tearing up your very OWN house…Finally! Enjoy this time, it will keep you busy and on a big learning-curve! Lotsa hugs xo

  4. Jacquelyn Marie

    How lovely! May you have years of love, fun, creativity in your new house, Oami and Kirk!

    Oami, I had never seen those photos of your Mom. They are wonderful and beautiful. Big love and hugs to you, Your GM

  5. Frances Newcross

    It’s exciting time of life! Enjoy it to the max! Love you. I’m thinking of you all. How’s Stella doing in the new place? Wish I was close enough to bring over a hot meal so you wouldn’t have to cook. Your Momma’s pics are beautiful. It’s heartwarming to see her included in that way.

  6. Aunt Diana

    Oami and Kirk, Lang may yer lum reek!!!! (Or long may your chimney work, or may you be happy in your new home for ever and ever, or as long as you want to be. )

    I LOVE the house and although like Rucha feel the twinges of envy, above all I am absolutely delighted for you, especially as I know how thrilled Judith would have been. Again I cried, especially at those beautiful photos. Thank you.
    ps I too had the dirty,smelly carpet in the conservatory, now nicely covered with cork tiles.

  7. Caitlin

    I’ve got to add my congratulations to you and Kirk! What a great home, and a great adventure! And I, as well, absolutely love those pictures of your mom.

  8. Jennifer

    Congratulations again!
    It looks beautiful…
    Wow- your mom worked on the Dinner Party?
    That’s a landmark piece in art history!
    The photos of her are really wonderful…

  9. germ

    You don’t have a natural gas line to the house or to the kitchen?

    If the former, get propane.

    If the latter, call a plumber. Or tell kirok to man up.

    Don’t give up on the dream oami.

  10. ursula

    we’ve been ooing and ahhing over your house tonite. can’t wait to see more pics after you’ve decorated, like only you can oami (and kirk:). it is really nice to see these pics of your mom included here. and yes, she was gorgeous – like her girls.
    congratulations you guys. xoxox

  11. Norman Ross Powers

    On your first weekend in the new home Kirk is cleaning the gutters, a quitessential homeowner task. I like that. The tender new curley-willow is sweet too. I’m glad there’s a sense of nature around the house as well as good light in it. You’ll be happy there, I can tell. Well done, you two and congratulations on your anniversary!

  12. Mary B.

    Congratulations Oami! What a great place – I’m luvin the built-in’s and kitchen (ok and all the space!!) 🙂 I’m so happy for you!! I’ve enjoyed reading this blog – not sure if I’ve commented before but I’m glad Rucha shared the link! All the best to you!!

  13. Meg Smither

    Oh P.S. Your mother is Beautiful. I see where you get your talents and Beauty from. Never falls far from the tree… Again Congrats. May your home always be filled with Love and Happiness.

  14. Kelly

    I can’t wait to come see this beautiful house in person! Love all the photos, especially the ones of your mom. Hugs to you and Kirk.

  15. spongeystef

    hiya guys!!!
    wow…..congrats on both! thanx4 the pix.the house is so beautiful….. the view from ur nook is nice 2……. can wait 2 see what y’all do w/it!!!remember ur mom is never far ….. she’s smiling and sending blessings ur way.
    xo stef

  16. oami powers

    Thanks everybody! It’s been a busy and interesting first week!
    Rucha: no need to be jealous of the kitchen, I don’t think I have any more counter space than you, just vertical space, for which I need a stepladder! The porch IS pretty dang cool though.
    Diana: I was laughing when I read your comment, because, as it happens our chimney doesn’t work! But our heat pump is grand.
    Jennifer: Yes! She embroidered the Susan B. Antony runner and possibly also Elinor of Aquitane.
    Jeremy: no gas line at all to the house, propane is the one viable route to my dream of the gas stove.
    Glad I shared those photos since so many of you hadn’t seen them…

  17. Norman Ross Powers

    I LOVE your new home and am glad Amy was there to help! Can’t wait to visit and see for myself. Your dad will definitely be bringing his tools. Hope Stella likes it too and minds the busy road. Can’t think of a major purchase made in the last years that I didn’t have “buyer’s remorse” but…so glad I did it! xoxo, MM


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